NHL BRIEF: WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY EDITION – SEPT. 23, 2016

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NHL BRIEF: WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY EDITION – SEPT. 23, 2016

Welcome to the “NHL Brief: World Cup of Hockey Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from the tournament.

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps
TEAM RUSSIA 3, Team Finland 0
TEAM CZECH REPUBLIC 4, Team USA 3

TEAM RUSSIA BLANKS FINNS, PUNCHES TICKET TO SEMIFINALS

A slick give-and-go between Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Ovechkin was all the offense Team Russia needed in a 3-0 win over Team Finland, sending the Russians to a Semifinal showdown with Team Canada Saturday night. Tarasenko’s goal 3:42 into the second period broke a scoreless tie and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all 21 Finland shots as Team Russia, needing a win to avoid elimination, edged idle Team North America for second place in Group B.

World Cup Of Hockey 2016 - Finland v Russia
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 22: Vladimir Tarasenko #91 of Team Russia scores a second period goal against Tuukka Rask #40 of Team Finland during the World Cup of Hockey tournament at the Air Canada Centre on September 22, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

* Ovechkin led Team Russia in points during Round Robin play with 1-2—3 in three games, while Tarasenko topped the squad with two goals. The pair have scored a combined 90 goals in each of the past two NHL seasons (Ovechkin 50, Tarasenko 40 in 2015-16; Ovechkin 53, Tarasenko 37 in 2014-15).

* Saturday will mark the 13th meeting between a Russian/Soviet team and Team Canada in Canada Cup/World Cup of Hockey history, with Canada owning a 7-3-2 edge. Their last clash in a Canada Cup/World Cup of Hockey elimination game was the epic Game 3 of the 1987 Canada Cup, won by Canada 6-5 with a late goal by Mario Lemieux on a setup from Wayne Gretzky.

CZECH REPUBLIC TOPS TEAM USA IN ROUND ROBIN FINALE

Goals by Andrej Sustr and Milan Michalek 39 seconds apart late in the second period spurred the Czech Republic to a 4-3 win over Team USA in the final game of the Round Robin schedule. The Czech Republic completed the World Cup of Hockey with a 1-1-1 record while Team USA dropped to 0-3-0.

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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 22: Milan Michalek #9 celebrates with Martin Hanzal #11 and Ales Hemsky #83 of Team Czech Republic after scoring a first period goal on Team USA during the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Air Canada Centre on September 22, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/World Cup of Hockey via Getty Images)

* Michalek’s goal, his second of the game, gave the Czech Republic a 4-2 lead and ultimately proved the game-winner. His older brother Zbynek opened the scoring in the first period, marking the first time in World Cup of Hockey history that brothers had lit the lamp in the same game.

WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY STATISTICAL LEADERS THROUGH ROUND ROBIN

Goals: Jonathan Toews (Team Canada), 3
Assists: Shayne Gostisbehere (Team North America), 4
Points: Jonathan Toews/Sidney Crosby/Matt Duchene (Team Canada) and Johnny Gaudreau/Shayne Gostisbehere (Team North America), 4
Game-Winning Goals: Vladimir Tarasenko (Team Russia), 2
Plus-Minus: Jay Bouwmeester/Sidney Crosby (Team Canada), +5
Shots on Goal: Patrice Bergeron (Team Canada), 16

SNEAK PEEK AT WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY SEMIFINALS

All Times Eastern

Saturday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m. (CBC, TVAS, ESPN2)
Team Canada (1st, Group A) vs. Team Russia (2nd, Group B)

Sunday, Sept. 25, 1 p.m. (CBC, TVAS, ESPN)
Team Sweden (1st, Group B) vs. Team Europe (2nd, Group A)

STAR-STUDDED SEMIFINAL ROSTERS

The top 10 leaders in career NHL goals among all World Cup of Hockey participants advanced to the Semifinal round, as did the top 10 in career NHL assists and points.

CAREER NHL GOALS (among all World Cup participants)
1. Alex Ovechkin (RUS), 525; 2. Marian Hossa (EUR), 499; 3. Marian Gaborik (EUR), 386; 4. Joe Thornton (CAN), 377; 5. Daniel Sedin (SWE), 355; 6. Sidney Crosby (CAN), 338; 7. Corey Perry (CAN), 330; 8. Thomas Vanek (EUR), 316; 9. Pavel Datsyuk (RUS), 314; 10. Steven Stamkos (CAN), 312.

CAREER NHL ASSISTS (among all World Cup participants)
1. Joe Thornton (CAN), 964; 2. Henrik Sedin (SWE), 748; 3. Pavel Datsyuk (RUS), 604; 4. Sidney Crosby (CAN), 600; 5. Marian Hossa (EUR), 590; 6. Daniel Sedin (SWE), 587; 7. Ryan Getzlaf (CAN), 520; 8. Nicklas Backstrom (SWE), 477; 9. Evgeni Malkin (RUS), 465; t-10. Alex Ovechkin (RUS), 441 and Anze Kopitar (EUR), 441.

CAREER NHL POINTS (among all World Cup participants)
1. Joe Thornton (CAN), 1,341; 2. Marian Hossa (EUR), 1,089; 3. Henrik Sedin (SWE), 970; 4. Alex Ovechkin (RUS), 966; 5. Daniel Sedin (SWE), 942; 6. Sidney Crosby (CAN), 938; 7. Pavel Datsyuk (RUS), 918; 8. Marian Gaborik (EUR), 773; 9. Evgeni Malkin (RUS), 760; 10. Ryan Getzlaf (CAN), 741.

SEMIFINAL FORECAST: STELLAR GOALTENDING

The anticipated starting goaltenders for the Semifinals posted a collective 1.69 goals-against average, .952 save percentage and four shutouts (one apiece) in Round Robin play.

Carey Price (Team Canada): 1.00 GAA, .968 SV%
Henrik Lundqvist (Team Sweden): 1.95 GAA, .953 SV%
Jaroslav Halak (Team Europe): 1.98 GAA, .946 SV%
Sergei Bobrovsky (Team Russia): 1.68 GAA, .948 SV%

DID YOU KNOW

The Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning will be the most-represented NHL clubs in the World Cup of Hockey Semifinals with seven players each.
Chicago Blackhawks (7): G Corey Crawford and F Jonathan Toews (Team Canada); F Marian Hossa (Team Europe); F Artem Anisimov and F Artemi Panarin (Team Russia); D Niklas Hjalmarsson and F Marcus Kruger (Team Sweden).
Tampa Bay Lightning (7): F Steven Stamkos (Team Canada); F Nikita Kucherov, F Vladislav Namestnikov, D Nikita Nesterov and G Andrei Vasilevskiy (Team Russia); D Victor Hedman and D Anton Stralman (Team Sweden).

HADFIELD CAPTIVATES STUDENTS AT FAN VILLAGE STEM EVENT

Thousands of Toronto-area students were treated to inspirational words from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) Career Panel Discussion at Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village Thursday.

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FRIDAY’S FAN VILLAGE SCHEDULE

Rock legend Lenny Kravitz headlines the World Cup of Hockey Celebration of Champions Friday night at the Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village. The event also will include a salute to 2016 Olympians.

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* Visit WCH2016.com/fanvillage for complete details.

HOCKEY WORLD MOURNS THE PASSING OF WALTER BUSH

USA Hockey has announced the passing of Walter Bush, its former President and Chairman of the Board. Over decades of distinguished service in hockey administration, Bush was enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, the IIHF Hall of Fame and honored with the Olympic Order.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement:

“Walter Bush was a formidable presence at all levels of the hockey world,” Commissioner Bettman said. “Walter made important and lasting contributions to the sport. His impact was felt, nationally and internationally, in the professional and the amateur ranks, in women’s hockey as well as men’s. He helped launch the Minnesota North Stars, helped found the Central Hockey League, worked tirelessly to get women’s hockey into the Olympics and properly earned global respect for his devotion to the growth of hockey everywhere. Most important, Walter was a wonderful man – loved and respected and a delight to be with. The NHL family sends thoughts of condolence and comfort to Walter’s family and many friends.”

www.wch2016.com | #wch2016

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